Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, pp. 489-498 Day 049

I was shown that we should provide a home for the afflicted and those who wish to learn how to take care of their bodies that they may prevent sickness. We should not remain indifferent and compel those who are sick and desirous of living out the truth to go to popular water cure institutions for the recovery of health, where there is no sympathy for our faith. If they recover health it may be at the expense of their religious faith. Those who have suffered greatly from bodily infirmities are weak both mentally and morally. As they realize the benefit derived from the correct application of water, the right use of air, and a proper diet, they are led to believe that the physicians who understood how to treat them so successfully cannot be greatly at fault in their religious faith; that as they are engaged in the great and good work of benefiting suffering humanity, they must be nearly or quite right. And thus our people are in danger of being ensnared through their efforts to recover health at these establishments.

Again I was shown that those who are strongly fortified with religious principles and are firm to obey all God’s requirements cannot receive that benefit from the popular health institutions of the day that others of a different faith can. Sabbathkeepers are singular in their faith. To keep all God’s commandments as He requires them to do in order to be owned and approved of Him is exceedingly difficult in a popular water cure. They have to carry along with them at all times the gospel sieve and sift everything they hear, that they may choose the good and refuse the bad.

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The water cure establishment at —— has been the best institution in the United States. Its managers have been doing a great and good work as far as the treatment of disease is concerned. Yet we cannot have confidence in their religious principles. While they profess to be Christians, they recommend to their patients card playing, dancing, and attending theaters, all of which have a tendency to evil, or, to say the very least, have the appearance of evil, and are directly contrary to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. Conscientious Sabbathkeepers who visit these institutions for the purpose of regaining health cannot receive the benefit they would if they were not obliged to keep themselves constantly guarded lest they compromise their faith, dishonor the cause of their Redeemer, and bring their own souls into bondage.

I was shown that Sabbathkeepers should open a way for those of like precious faith to be benefited without their being under the necessity of expending their means at institutions where their faith and religious principles are endangered, and where they can find no sympathy or union in religious matters. God in His providence directed the course of Dr. B to —— that he might there obtain an experience he would not otherwise have gained, for He had a work for him to do in the health reform. As a practicing physician he had for years been obtaining a knowledge of the human system, and God would now have him by precept and practice learn how to apply the blessings placed within the reach of man. He would have him become prepared to benefit the sick and instruct those who do not understand how to preserve the strength and health they already have, and how to prevent disease by a wise use of heaven’s remedies—pure water, air, and diet.

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I was shown that Dr. B was a cautious and strictly conscientious man, a man whom God loves. He has passed through many trials which have worked for his good, although while passing through them he could not at all times see how he was to be benefited by them. Dr. B is not a man who will become exalted while he believes the truth and follows in its path. He is not a man who will be arbitrary or overbearing. He is too fearful of putting on that dignity which his position would allow him to maintain. He will counsel with others and is easy to be entreated; his great danger will be a willingness to take on burdens which he ought not to bear. He sees and feels what ought to be done, and will be in danger of doing too much. He is extremely sensitive and sympathetic, and will feel to the very depth for all his patients; and if he is permitted, will carry so heavy a load of responsibility as to be crushed under its weight.

Men and women of influence should help Brother B by their prayers, their sympathy, their hearty cooperation, their cheering, hopeful words, and their counsel and advice—all of which will be appreciated by him. His position cannot be an enviable one. If he assumes so great responsibilities it will not be from choice or to obtain a livelihood, for he can procure this in a much easier way and avoid the care, anxiety, and perplexity which such a position would bring upon him. Duty alone will lead him; and when once convinced where the path of duty lies, he will follow it and stand at his post, let the consequences be what they may. He should have the sympathy and co-operation of those who have influence, those whom God would have stand by his side and sustain him in his laborious work.

Dr. B could, so far as this world is concerned, do better than in the position he now occupies. I was shown that this position would be most difficult. Many who have no experience would have no idea of the magnitude of the enterprise and would want things to go according to their ideas. Some would wonder why the poor could not come and be treated for nothing, and would be tempted to think that it was a money-making enterprise after all; and this one and that one would wish to have something to say, and would have just about so much fault to find, let matters go as they might; for I was shown that some would consider it a virtue to be jealous and stand out and oppose. They pride themselves on not receiving everything just as soon as it comes. Like Thomas, they boast of their unbelief. But did Jesus commend unbelieving Thomas? While granting him the evidence he had declared that he would have before believing, Jesus said unto him: “Thomas because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

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I was shown that there is no lack of means among Sabbathkeeping Adventists. At present their greatest danger is in their accumulations of property. Some are continually increasing their cares and labors; they are overcharged. The result is, God and the wants of His cause are nearly forgotten by them; they are spiritually dead. They are required to make a sacrifice to God, an offering. A sacrifice does not increase, but decreases and consumes. Here, I was shown, was a worthy enterprise for God’s people to engage in, one in which they can invest means to His glory and the advancement of His cause. Much of the means among our people is only proving an injury to those who are holding on to it.

Our people should have an institution of their own, under their own control, for the benefit of the diseased and suffering among us who wish to have health and strength that they may glorify God in their bodies and spirits, which are His. Such an institution, rightly conducted, would be the means of bringing our views before many whom it would be impossible for us to reach by the common course of advocating the truth. As unbelievers shall resort to an institution devoted to the successful treatment of disease and conducted by Sabbathkeeping physicians, they will be brought directly under the influence of the truth. By becoming acquainted with our people and our real faith, their prejudice will be overcome and they will be favorably impressed. By thus being placed under the influence of truth, some will not only obtain relief from bodily infirmities, but will find a healing balm for their sin-sick souls.

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As the health of invalids improves under judicious treatment, and they begin to enjoy life, they have confidence in those who have been instrumental in their restoration to health. Their hearts are filled with gratitude, and the good seed of truth will the more readily find a lodgment there and in some cases will be nourished, spring up, and bear fruit to the glory of God. One such precious soul saved will be worth more than all the means needed to establish such an institution. Some will not have enough moral courage to yield to their convictions. They may be convinced that Sabbathkeepers have the truth, but the world and unbelieving relatives stand in the way of their receiving it. They cannot bring their minds to the point to sacrifice all for Christ. Yet some of this last-mentioned class will go away with their prejudice removed and will stand as defenders of the faith of Seventh-day Adventists. Some who go away restored or greatly benefited will be the means of introducing our faith in new places and raising the standard of truth where it would have been impossible to gain access had not prejudice been first removed from minds by a tarry among our people for the object of gaining health.

Others will prove a source of trial as they go to their homes. Yet this should not discourage any or hinder them in their efforts in this good work. Satan and his agents will do all they can to hinder, to perplex, and to bring burdens upon those who heartily engage in the work of advancing this reform.

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There is a liberal supply of means among our people, and if all felt the importance of the work, this great enterprise could be carried forward without embarrassment. All should feel a special interest in sustaining it. Especially should those who have means invest in this enterprise. A suitable home should be fitted up for the reception of invalids that they may, by the use of proper means and the blessing of God, be relieved of their infirmities and learn how to take care of themselves and thus prevent sickness.

Many who profess the truth are growing close and covetous. They need to be alarmed for themselves. They have so much of their treasure upon the earth that their hearts are on their treasure. Much the larger share of their treasure is in this world and but little in heaven; therefore their affections are placed on earthly possessions instead of on the heavenly inheritance. There is now a good opportunity for them to use their means for the benefit of suffering humanity and also for the advancement of the truth. This enterprise should never be left to struggle in poverty. These stewards to whom God has entrusted means should now come up to the work and use their means to His glory. To those who through covetousness withhold their means, it will prove a curse rather than a blessing.

Those to whom God has entrusted means should provide a fund to be used for the benefit of the worthy poor who are sick and not able to defray the expenses of receiving treatment at the institution. There are some precious, worthy poor whose influence has been a benefit to the cause of God. A fund should be raised to be used for the express purpose of treating such of the poor as the church where they reside shall decide are worthy to be benefited. Unless those who have an abundance give for this object, without calling for returns, the poor will be unable to avail themselves of the benefits derived from the treatment of disease at such an institution, where so much means is required for labor bestowed. Such an institution should not in its infancy, while struggling to live, become embarrassed by a constant expenditure of means without realizing any returns.

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Number Twelve—Testimony for the Church

Chapter 86—Address to the Young

Young Sabbathkeepers are given to pleasure seeking. I saw that there is not one in twenty who knows what experimental religion is. They are constantly grasping after something to satisfy their desire for change, for amusement; and unless they are undeceived and their sensibilities aroused so that they can say from the heart, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord,” they are not worthy of Him and will come short of everlasting life. The young, generally, are in a terrible deception, and yet they profess godliness. Their unconsecrated lives are a reproach to the Christian name; their example is a snare to others. They hinder the sinner, for in nearly every respect they are no better than unbelievers. They have the word of God, but its warnings, admonitions, reproofs, and corrections are unheeded, as are also the encouragements and promises to the obedient and faithful. God’s promises are all on condition of humble obedience. One pattern only is given to the young, but how do their lives compare with the life of Christ? I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk. They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting.

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I was shown that the youth must take a higher stand and make the word of God the man of their counsel and their guide. Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and with strong cries and tears pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer, luring them on to perdition. Listen to the instructions from the Inspired Book of God. I saw that Satan had blinded the minds of the youth that they could not comprehend the truths of God’s word. Their sensibilities are so blunted that they regard not the injunctions of the holy apostle:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the [new] earth.” “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” Children who dishonor and disobey their parents, and disregard their advice and instructions, can have no part in the earth made new. The purified new earth will be no place for the rebellious, the disobedient, the ungrateful, son or daughter. Unless such learn obedience and submission here, they will never learn it; the peace of the ransomed will not be marred by disobedient, unruly, unsubmissive children. No commandment breaker can inherit the kingdom of heaven. Will all the youth please read the fifth commandment of the law spoken by Jehovah from Sinai and engraven with His own finger upon tables of stone? “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

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I was referred to many passages of Scripture that clearly show the young the will of God concerning them. These plain teachings they must meet in the judgment. Yet there is not one young man or young woman in twenty professing the present truth who heeds these Bible teachings. The youth do not read the word of God enough to know its claims upon them; and yet these truths will judge them in the great day of God, when young and old will be rewarded according to the deeds done in the body.

Says John: “I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”

This exhortation to young men extends to young women also. Their youth does not excuse them from the responsibilities resting upon them. They are strong and are not worn down with cares and the weight of years; their affections are ardent, and if they withdraw these from the world and place them upon Christ and heaven, doing the will of God, they will have a hope of the better life that is enduring, and they will abide forever, being crowned with glory, honor, immortality, eternal life. If the youth live to gratify the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, they are seeking for the things of the world, pleasing their great adversary, and separating themselves from the Father. And when these things that are sought after pass away, their hopes are blasted and their expectations perish. Separated from God they will then bitterly repent their folly in serving their own pleasure, gratifying their own desires, and for a few frivolous enjoyments selling a life of bliss that they might have enjoyed forever.

Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1 pp. 489-498

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